Community leaders warn of grave consequences of no probe into Batla

By Mumtaz Alam Falahi,,

New Delhi: The Muslim community leaders are seriously thinking for a collective strategy to force the government for a judicial probe into the Batla House encounter as the autopsy report of slain terror suspects Atif Ameen and Mohd Sajid has confirmed their doubts that the encounter was fake. They will meet UPA partners and PM on one hand, and will launch a jail bharo andolan and court arrest on the other. Talking to Mumtaz Alam Falahi of they expressed fear that sustained denial of justice will weaken moderate elements of the community and pave way for extremists. They cited the case of naxalism to prove the point.

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Dr Mohd Manzoor Alam, General Secretary, All India Milli Council:

After this autopsy report, there is no way for the government to refuse a judicial probe. If the government again refuses a judicial probe, it will be criminal dimension of removing this open report and people will lose confidence in the whole mechanism of the governance. And will never again hope that their political leaders of any political party including the Congress will be delivering the justice to the minorities and Muslims particularly. So that’s why the issue must be taken up and government should come forward to order a judicial enquiry in the incident.

Why no judicial probe ordered in this encounter

One reason could be they had fear of its negative impact on their electoral prospect. Two, in plenty of cases Muslims have been tortured and killed. They thought if they allowed a judicial probe into this encounter a Pandora’s Box will be opened and whenever a Muslim will be killed in an encounter a judicial probe will be demanded. Third, among bureaucrats, Intelligence Bureau and Anti-Terrorism Squad there is a suspicion about Muslims. But now they have no reason to ignore a judicial probe.

A retired chief justice of India has said that until proved genuine an encounter will be considered a murder.

Future strategy to force the government for a probe

Naturally, we will have to take a collective decision, strategy and tactics not only to press for a judicial enquiry of Batla House encounter but also we have to demand for a judicial commission to probe all encounters in the last 15 years besides Batla House. This is necessary because many encounter champions are behind the bars for fake encounters but governments are still giving them safeguard. It is not justice.

I am planning to call a meeting of all organizations to take a decision on the issue.

Maulana Abdul Hameed Nomani, Secretary, Jamiat Ulema-I-Hind:

Both central and state governments are cold on Muslim community issues. When the Batla House encounter took place Jamiat Ulema was first to demand a judicial probe as the encounter had created many doubts. Now after the autopsy report such enquiry has become necessary as it has made the encounter more doubtful. I am unable to understand why the centre is not allowing a judicial probe. Judicial probe in specific cases takes place everywhere in the world. The demand for a judicial probe is genuine and justified.

Consequences of no probe

If government ignores the demand and gets rigid not to allow for a probe then this will send a wrong message to the community and society. And this will create a situation where emotional or extremist forces will take the issue from saner elements of the society. And this will push the society to violence. The example of naxalism is before us. Naxalites have not come from nowhere. They are the result of a long period of injustice. Some of them took a wrong path for a right demand.

Future strategy

We all are united on the issue and have been demanding for a probe. We will continue to knock at the door of the authorities. This is the only way in a democratic system.

Mujtaba Farooq, Political Affairs Secretary, Jamaat-e-Islami Hind:

We again demand for a judicial probe. Everyone questioned the genuineness of the Batla House encounter. As it seemed fake to the community and all other groups the demand for a judicial probe was put before the government. This was a democratic and genuine demand. The autopsy report has sent clear indications that it was not an encounter, it was a murder.

Consequences of injustice

If justice is persistently denied to the community, God not willing, the situation of naxalism will be created. Naxalism is the result of injustice to a large group of people. What they expect if the largest minority of the country faces the same situation of injustice.

Future strategy

We will put massive pressure to attract govt and parties. Even if such pressure is not built up, the issue will lie deep in the mind of people and they may react in the time of elections. If UPA orders a probe in this term, it will be good. Otherwise, the community will have to think the issue in political context.

Coordination Committee of Indian Muslim will be meeting tomorrow to chalk out a strategy to force the government for a probe.

Sohail KK, President, Students Islamic Organization of India (SIO):

The post-mortem report on the murder of Atif and Sajid is a seal and approval to the earlier reports of different fact finding teams that the incident Delhi Police called as Batla House encounter was fake.

The government should rise up to the demand of general public that there should be a judicial enquiry by a sitting judge of Supreme Court so that truth could come out. The NHRC enquiry report was just based on newspapers reports and police version, which was least expected from NHRC. So we demand a judicial probe.

Why no enquiry

We apprehend there are certain people behind the curtain with some vested interests to polarize the whole citizen of the country and take political benefit out of it.

Second could be they want the deprived community to continuously beat and suppress so that they could not rise up. Same has happened with Dalits. They have been oppressed for long and to seek justice they deviated to armed militia. Such path will never help them gain what they want. Terrorism or naxalism is a deviated reaction of state terrorism and biased developmental policies of successive governments.

If we want to put an end to extremist reaction or terrorism or naxalism, we need to create justice on the ground.

Future strategy

Demand for a judicial probe through protests and rallies are a democratic and peaceful way of putting a demand. This demand is not only of the Muslim community rather all society. We will take hold of hand of all sections of the society who believe in justice and peace to press the government for the demand.

Dr Tasleem Rahmani, President, Muslim Political Council of India:

We demand a judicial probe and a judicial process. A case of murder should be registered on the community initiative. The community should not wait for the parents of those killed in the Batla encounter for this. The community should lodge an FIR against the police. This is because the community and all those who believe in justice have said the encounter was fake and a cold blooded murder. Moreover, the autopsy report which should come out in 48 hours took more than one and half years, clearly indicating there is something fishy about the incident.

Why no enquiry so far

Simply because this was not an encounter. It was a pre-planned murder and conspiracy. We demanded probe in Malegaon blasts for four years but in vain. But when Hemant Karkare probed the case it vindicated our suspicion that Hindu terrorists were behind it.

Future strategy

We are living in a democracy. Though Constitution has taken a back seat we believe in democracy and we should retort to democratic rights. We should resort to pressure tactics through mass mobilization, electoral means and through protest marches etc. so far we have done this but with no success. We should now launch jail bharo andolan, and we should court arrest in thousands of numbers to press for the demands. Maybe in the second week of April when Parliament will resume we will do jail bharo andolan, not only in Delhi but in all state capitals.

Dr Qasim Rasool Ilyas, Member, Executive Committee, All India Muslim Personal Law Board

The autopsy report has confirmed our apprehensions that Batla was a fake encounter. We again demand for a judicial probe into it. Various questions raised about the shootout but the government, home ministry and Delhi police did not listen to our demand. Now the government must order a judicial probe, otherwise it will mean that the government itself is involved in the conspiracy for the shootout.

Why no enquiry so far

The problem is that a police officer was also killed in the encounter. If you say it was a fake encounter then automatically the question will come out: who killed Inspector Mohan Chand Sharma. This is one of the reasons that the government is not coming forward to conduct a judicial enquiry. Because that will make the case more complicated. Suppose if it comes to light that Sharma was killed by his own colleagues either deliberately or in crossfire that will create a big problem.

Future strategy

We want to build a political pressure on the government because without such pressure nothing will happen. At the recently concluded All India Muslim Personal Law Board, the issue had come for discussion with several Muslim organizations demanding the board to take up the issue and demand for a judicial probe. But as the board does not want to cross its own jurisdiction it did not take the issue. However, in the declaration it was mention that the Muslim community is perturbed with various fake encounters. Now we will sit together and formulate a strategy to force the government for a judicial probe. For that, we will meet various partners of this UPA government and definitely the Prime Minister and the Chairperson of UPA.